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Cheers ! Bri
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Brian here. Hello you beautiful people in Starmus, in Trondheim.
I’m devastated that I can't be with you this time but you can see why if you look around here. I’m in the final stages of teching and rehearsing for this very very big Queen tour which will take us all around the States and eventually all round Europe and England and down to Australia too.
I hope you're having a wonderful time there. Thinking of you very much.
Congratulations to the Gold Medal winners, to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jean-Michel Jarre and The Big Bang Theory and I am only consolable by the fact that although I can't be there, the wonderful Space Age genius Steve Vai is there, the incredible Nuno Bettencourt is there and the spirit of rock is safe with you guys.
Have a wonderful time. Do astronomy, do astronautics, do music and absolutely enjoy life.
Guitar parts played tonight (18 June) [on] the Queen stage where we're rehearsing in Anaheim - close to Los Angeles, California. Simon Cowell's team are working on the track in Sarm Studios - close where the Grenfell disaster happened - and a studio where so much of our old material was recorded. Through the miracle of digital encoding, this will be transmitted tonight and will all arrive this morning, ready to be laid into the London backing track, along with the vocal overdubs.
This is a great cause - all credit to Simon for pitching in - and of course this is my neighbourhood too - so I had to volunteer my services to help the families who are suffering so much. The plan is to release this track on Wednesday - just a week after the fire.
**Sun 18 Jun 17** DAY 2 OF PRODUCTION - AND MORE Direct link
Hi ! From Bri !
First day of Queen & Adam production rehearsals completed (Sat 17 June). Could be our best EVER production !
You guys just might be shocked !
Not giving too much away - and not wishing to overstate anything ... but in Day 2 of production - we have the best opening of any show - EVER. See ya out there !
Thanks for the votes, Mirror readers !! I appreciate being number 1 ! Wow - it was nearly an ALL Queen band !!
MIRROR 16 Jun 2017
Music fans vote for favourite fantasy supergroup - with Adele on lead vocals
The 2,000 people surveyed told Adele, 29, we want Someone Like You, ahead of legends Elvis and David Bowie.
I seem to be ranting all the time at the moment, a return to my former voluble self. But at least I’m not alone now.
I’ll get it off my chest today. Soon I’ll be off. I’ll be intensively on the road, doing my day job, taking the Queen and Adam Lambert show all across the USA, and I'm hugely looking forward to it – looking forward to seeing lots of happy faces and making lots of good wholesome noise. I can make some money too, more money that I can squander on Animal Welfare based schemes !
But right now I feel full of explosions of long pent-up frustration and anger. Before I start this one, I'd like to get something out of the way. As the ‘Artist Taxi Driver’ so eloquently says, don't let anybody start telling us we should not be 'politicising' the appalling tragedy of the Kensington tower block of flats that went up in flames, killing and maiming innocent and decent ‘normal’ British folks. This is one of the worst disasters of recent times, all the more tragic because it’s so clear that it could have been averted at so many points over the last few years, and wasn’t. It is, by its very nature, political, because it’s about beliefs, and behaviours.
The one thing that everybody agrees on is that this disaster should not have happened. But it's a question of finding out why it did. And in asking the questions that lead to the answers we need, it's becoming apparent that the whole core of government policy over many years has to be surgically dissected and examined. I feel that the analysis will reveal that we need an absolutely radical restart, and a re-definition of all the fundamental values which have been held sacred by recent governments.
George Montbiot today says:
The #GrenfellTower disaster is a convergence of all the evils of our age: deregulation, inequality, corporate power, loss of democracy, etc.
I believe this is absolutely true. And no lame attempt at deflecting the blame on to Europe will change that. If this sounds like “We told you so” from the mouths of people like us, then so be it. I don't think anybody seeks credit. We just want things putting right.
During the latter half of the last century, there was a slightly bumpy but continuous build towards improving the quality of life of every citizen in the UK. The priority values were quality of life, and decency and fairness. There were differences of approach as regards the details, but the underlying intent was clear, and, I believe it was a good intent.
This isn’t an anti-Tory rant, by the way. I’ve been supporting some great compassionate Conservatives over the last few years. In spite of some flak, I’ll continue to do so. But anti-Theresa May ? Yes it is. You also won't find me condoning the actions of Tony Blair. In my opinion he may have started out with good intentions but was utterly ruined by power and vanity and did immense damage. He skirted in a cowardly way around many of the important home decisions, like the banning of blood sports, and the quiet blind eye he turned towards the fact that the dismantling of the old evils of privilege in Britain were put on pause on his watch. He then made the catastrophically awful decision of taking us to war without good reason, and without consulting anyone - even his own cabinet – plunging us into the spotlight as a nation to be hated around the world, generating terrorist resistance to our actions. Socially, at home, I think history will see Tony Blair as somebody who simply allowed things to crumble. He diluted the ideals of Socialism to the point where it was almost indistinguishable from Conservatism. In the process, with a gentle smile, he allowed the traditional forces of darkness to assemble and grow strong, awaiting their moment. This is why Jeremy Corbyn, like him or not, has found support for his much more honest ‘real’ socialism.
After Tony Blair was dispatched, something truly awful happened. When Cameron first put a foot in Number 10 Downing Street, albeit sharing the power with a young LibDem lad who traded his morals for a slice of the cake, the social structure of Britain, the hopes of fairness and decency for all no longer continued, simply to crumble. David Cameron ruthlessly began the process of destruction, actively tearing down all the good that had been done over half a century in seeking a fair distribution of wealth and power in this country. In his second term, and in the recent regime of Theresa May, this destruction of fairness has been pursued with even more determination. These people stand for the protection and strengthening of Privilege in England, making it harder and harder to achieve any kind of equality of opportunity.
We forget so quickly, don't we? Cameron and his cronies came up with all sorts of glib catchphrases, designed to hoodwink us into thinking they were acting in our interests. It’s actually monstrous to contemplate that anybody believed “We're all in this together”. Cameron, the Prince of the old guard, old-fashioned Tories, became a master of talking the talk, while walking smartly in the opposite direction. And so it has been, ever since. It's been deception on a grand scale, but somehow the massive forces of their money and spin managed to hoodwink a large section of the population for quite a while. Not any more.
The other great catchphrase which swept so many of us are up in its appealing chatter, was the vilification of the so-called “Nanny State”. Remember? Suddenly any kind of caretaking was namby-pamby, an erosion of freedom, and wasteful. This propaganda was used to justify the dismantling of all the safeguards that had been so carefully put in place by preceding generations. It was all labelled “Red Tape”, and the good old-fashioned Tories set about ripping it all out. In their over simplistic language, it was so easy to justify. “Look! We’re saving lots of money. We’re making the economy healthy. We’re turning Britain around”. The fact that they would in the process deny decent people their jobs, erode health and safety, and remove the right of anyone to challenge this course of action, was brilliantly swept under the carpet by the propaganda rhetoric of the Press, almost all of which they controlled. The Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun, and The Times all absolutely locked in to shoring up the status quo, all slapping each other on the back and building up invulnerability, so that the poor people could never again challenge their divine right to rule, or take away the unfairly large piece of the cake they were owning. They also mischievously used terrorism as an excuse to table the destruction of the Human Rights Act.
Now, in 2017, by a strange sequence of events, almost as if it were a thunderbolt from the heavens, all those closed doors behind which the skullduggery took place have been opened. It's now so clear to everyone that the red tape and the social care network that the Tories absolutely consciously destroyed have led to our country being a wasteland for the common people. Worse than that – even the simple safeguards to keep people secure in their beds at night was thrown away. This is why we have a burning building spelling out the truth for us. It has cost the lives of these poor people to wake us up – and we all know that if they had been rich people, this never would have happened.
This is not politicising. This is the plain ghastly truth. The logical end of all those stupid catchphrases is the destruction of this country. Our once beautiful London is wrecked, choked under a plague of building work which does not benefit Londoners. It benefits the upper echelons through the very fact that rich investors support their hold on power. Our buildings are not safe. Our nurses are not paid a decent wage. And our once-great National Health Service has been all but destroyed by running bits of it down and selling them off for rich cronies of the Government to develop for profit. Our education system has, almost without protest, suffered the same fate. All those ‘Academies’ ? Did we notice ? We don’t own them any more. They are not owned by the state, supported by taxes. They are run by rich businessmen to make a profit. When they fail to make a profit, pieces of the educational machinery which are suddenly deemed unimportant are ripped away. This asset stripping is going on as we speak, undermining our children’s education. It’s the same story. The aim is always profit, and money. It’s called ‘The Economy'.
When I began my campaign for decency seven years ago, we made a viral video called “Bollocks to the Economy". I was accused of being simply rude and irrelevant. But I was deadly serious. In my view, making ‘The Economy’ a false God has poisoned this country – taking away the true priorities of decency, fairness and quality of life. I don’t want ever to hear the sentence ‘We are good for the Economy" again.
This present ‘mess’ is not an accident. It has all been planned. The old-fashioned Tory clique are not stupid. They are ruthless and unprincipled, and have an unshakable belief that they were born to rule, and have a divine right to hold on to the power and riches generated by the ordinary people of this country. They were just not quite clever enough. They got found out.
This is not a small matter. It will not be solved while the present Government limps on, pretending there is a plan for this hopeless Brexit exercise.
This is the moment. It's funny, because I was brought up as a staunch Tory, and always despised the grubby revolutionaries. I also made money by pursuing my dreams, although money was never the object. But now is the time. This will have to be something on the scale of the French Revolution. While the increasingly astoundingly unlikable Theresa May is still robotically chanting “Let them eat cake” (remember her recent “There is no magic money tree to pay nurses”?), it's time to get Madam Guillotine ready.
This cannot be a small change. All those ruthless, selfish bastards have to get the comeuppance now. They must go. Every last one of them. It's time to start knitting their names into history. Of course we won't literally chop off their heads. Hopefully we have enough Common Decency in us not allow things to run amok. But they must go. Every last vestige of the rotten, filthy, old-style privileged Tory edifice must be torn down. I can already see the glint of the blade of the guillotine rising out of the mist. It is time.
Every time I look at the dreaming spires of Westminster, I'm struck by the image in my mind of the shocking corruption inside those buildings. And the rottenness and the unfairness it promulgates. It's time to clean out the filth.
In the light of the humiliated Theresa May being forced to ‘tear up her manifesto’, this cartoon a month ago in the Times seems strangely prophetic.
I’m also discovering that my own words exactly a month ago - written in response to an invitation from the Mirror, but, strangely, not published until the eve of Election day - were prophetic too. The day after Theresa May’s announcement (carefully planned) that she would bring back blood sports, I wrote …
"The public backlash that I saw following this announcement convinced me that the country might just be ready to send Theresa May packing the same way they had pushed David Cameron out of the door, in recompense for his very similar vaunting arrogance in the Brexit Referendum. Now that the blinkers are off, we see Theresa May in her full glory – a ruthless insatiably ambitious woman with not a shred of compassion for man or beast.”
And so it proved to be … against all the expectations, because at that point the opinion polls were still giving the Tories a massive 20 point lead, and predicting a ‘landslide’ ! Mrs May eventually secured possibly the hollowest victory of all time, and although she still limps on in number 10, blithely pretending nothing’s changed, her ticket to the same place Cameron was banished to (Planet Ignominy) … is already written.
The latest carefully rehearsed heroic speech from Mrs May goes something like “Well, I got us into this mess, and I am the best person to get us out”. I’m looking for another cartoon, from a couple of weeks ago which also rings those bells … it showed Theresa May driving a bus full of people off the edge of a cliff. All it needs is a new caption:
“I’m the best one to save us … trust me ? !” Yep, Theresa, sure we trust you.
(Original caption) “Who else wants a shot??” – 18 April 2017 – Theresa May calls a snap election
before the reality or ramifications of Brexit become manifest - by Seb Charrot
Various people have been tweeting their reactions to the astounding poll result, but lots of people have been asking me "What is the result of the election from an animal welfare point of view?” Well, we all know that there will never be real progress towards decent treatment for all creatures while the ‘Old Style Toxic Tories' are still in Government. We would need either a new-style enlightened Conservative regime (which just might happen) or a Labour government, or a House packed with MPs with empathy.
That didn’t quite happen this time. But it’s no longer an impossible dream. We saw a significant change in the way people voted this time, many free at last from the influence of the disgustingly mendacious and poisonous Right Wing Press. And though, as many have commented, both major parties claimed victory, we at Common Decency are convinced that the victory was OURS ! What we have, at least in this interim period, is a House of Commons which is delicately balanced - no one person or party having absolute power. Every decision will have to be honestly debated, and the votes will turn on who has been convinced by logical argument. It will be incredibly difficult for any extreme and damaging bill to get through. In particular, with a Parliament containing over 400 MPs who are against the return of blood sports (rightly, since they now reflect more closely the will of the public) the chances of Theresa May bringing in a bill to smash the Hunting Act must be less than an asteroid hitting the Houses of Parliament. Her promise to do that is effectively torn up along with the rest of the Theresa’s now obsolete manifesto. As regards Badgers, things are moving in the field. We’re all very excited about an experimental project in Devon masterminded by vet Dick Sibley, a man already with a track record of conquering disease in farming. It’s not yet verified science, but it certainly looks as if he has solved the Bovine TB problem in cattle - without killing a single badger or other wild animal. His work was temporarily paused while DEFRA sorted out the legality of his enhanced testing regime, but he certainly has made ONE farmer very happy, enjoying his TB-free status, and convinced that this is the way forward. In Wales, Christianne Glossop (although at present, against the advice of most experts, headed towards doing some small-scale culling), is taking the bold step of applying this technique to a selection of problem farms.
The significance of this is that, from the perspective of those involved with the bovine TB problem, it may not matter which party is in power in the future. If a true solution can be found which doesn't necessitate the death of either cattle or badgers … a solution which actually WORKS … then suddenly we are all friends. And the polarisation of the parties will no longer exist. Jeremy Corbyn has promised to halt the badger cull anyway, and obviously we would welcome that, but, in the long term, a SOLUTION rather than a DECISION is what Britain needs.
So we have gone a long way towards our vision of a Parliament working on Common Decency rather than party lines, and I thank all of you who supported the idea. By the time we get to the next election, we promise to be better prepared, and more noisy in promoting Common Decency. And maybe in the NEXT parliament, some real progress can be made in making Britain a fairer place for all creatures, human and non-human alike.
Oh – by the way, if people show you that mocking face, and ask “So you really expect people to vote according to whether a candidate wants to kill foxes or not ?” Just remind them that fox hunting is a wonderful piece of litmus paper, to indicate whether a person has empathy or not. If the answer is no, there is no chance of getting this person on side in campaigns to give the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged a fair deal. A DECENT MP works on creating a decent life for ALL his constituents, whether or not they have a voice, or a vote.
Well that's a nice welcome to LA ! A good omen for our Queen and Adam Lambert tour of the USA. I should explain this is a photo of a photo on a giant digital screen at least 30 feet high in the arrivals hall at LAX. Nice !
There is a God...
Liquid Sunlight. Best when shared.
Liquid Sunset - LA
LA just after sunset. Beautiful. Feels like coming home.
A beautiful chilly inlet seen as our 380 crossed the Eastern coast of Greenland. I can never resist the quest for the perfect plane-born hyperstereo ! As always, this isn't quite IT - but I'm liking it.
Glacier from the air
But I was lucky to see this. Proof that at least glaciers still exist - but you can see the vertical cliff edge where the icebergs are breaking off and floating out into a white sea of frozen fragments. Then, beyond that, the open water where they've all melted. I'd love to visit this awesome place. Let's hope the warming of our planet's surface won't destroy it.
My Dad used to say "All work and no play ... makes Jack a dull boy." I'm seizing a moment to rest my bones.
Those legs might be rough but I need them to carry me a long way this year.
**Thu 15 Jun 17** THE LANGUAGE OF TRUE EXTREMISM Direct link
The Daily Mail - widely acknowledged now as one of the most evilly poisonous publications in the world - is actually a fascinating place to study the language and techniques of propaganda. One of the first results of the humiliating loss of power that Theresa May has suffered is something truly wonderful. She's being forced to abandon her declared plan to tear up the Treaty of Human Rights. This piece of crass stupidity was a knee-jerk reaction to a very small number of cases where supposed terrorists were managing to escape deportation by claiming it would be a violation of their human rights. It was a very crude attempt at vote-winning for TM to claim that she would solve the problem by just sweeping away the whole carefully constructed landscape of the Human Rights Treaty - which, by the way, was largely based on British ideas and hard work.
It was a very dangerous idea - absolutely shocking to those of us who believe that Human Rights are the very basis of Common Decency and morality.
So - with a non-existent majority quietly smiling at her from the wings - she now has to abandon this appalling idea. But the Daily Mail reports it in a highly dishonest and inflammatory way. Look what it says ...
It doesn't just report the facts - it puts an intense colour on the story, by saying " ANGER as May is forced ... " . If the British Public were stupid, they would swallow this whole. They'd share that anger and get all worked up - "How shocking, this abandonment of TM's plans". Maybe that would have happened in the Old Days. But I'm certainly starting to believe that Britain is waking up fast - which makes me very happy, since I've been calling out "Wake Up" for months. In the election, Britain mostly rejected the Daily Mail's spurious and pernicious accusations against Corbyn - and stripped TM of her majority.
I think we are all getting clearer as to what is truth, and what is filthy distortions.
So ! Looking at that headline again, who is "Angry" about Theresa May being prevented from smashing Human Rights ? Well probably the owner of the Daily Mail and a few of the rather nasty fox hunting friends that Theresa has managed to keep by her side. But - the rest of us ? We're over the Moon !! We can hardly believe it. Suddenly we realise all over again - there IS a God !!! Decency and moderation are beginning to dawn in the skies of Britain !!!
PS - if you want some fun try looking through the Daily Mail's headlines in the next few weeks. Look for those emotive words designed to pervert our opinions - "Anger as .." ... "Rage as ...." "Dismay as ...." It's
Fun ! There are lots of others - words and phrases too .... if you have a moment - go look ! Even better - you'll find great stuff in the Sun, too (RSPCA "blasted" !), and the Telegraph, and, yes, the formerly respectable and respected The Times too. What a game ! But the game is up.
Cheers folks ! Things are changing. Here comes HOPE !!!
This man speaks the truth this Government dares not utter. It's as if clear messages are being sent to us. Britain needs massive change.
STOP THE PRESS !! Our new single released today !!! Video is here. Kerry and I may be at opposite ends of the Earth but I'm proud to say this track is now out there with a Lyric Video. It's a significantly different version from the one on the "Golden Days" album - designed specially for Radio. I really do hope it will help folks find a way out of these tough moments in the head. It's something I deal with and wanted to share. We are not alone !!!
By the way, contrary to the impression you might get from some of the Press coverage, this release was planned long before the current wave of terrorist attacks. It's not about terror in the world - it's about terror in the mind.
Having been in transit I just caught up with the tragedy in North Kensington very near my home. Horrible and tragic - my condolences to all who are suffering and bereaved.
**Wed 14 Jun 17** BRITISH AIRWAYS SPOILT THE VIEW Direct link
Travelling on planes has for years been something I have had to do, as part of my job, but I never got bored with enjoying the views . As soon as I'm up there above the clouds, I feel lucky and excited - like a kid on a treat.
I also, very childlike, I'm sure, never tire of trying to take the perfect sequential stereo picture as the plane surges forward, giving me an instant baseline for 3-D photos of clouds, glaciers, mountains, cities, canyons, and volcanoes. But - as I fly today with British Airways - I wonder if I am the only person left in the world who likes to relax in a comfortable seat and dreamily turn my head to the window and get lost in the ever-changing wonders of the planet, as they drift by ? I wonder this because I'm not aware of anyone except me complaining about the new way the seats are configured in BA First Class. I hate it. It costs an arm and a leg to travel this way and I feel that we no longer get our money's worth. In the old days you sat right next to the window and the view was wide and spectacular. Now they sit you about three feet from the window and so low down all you can see from your seat is a small patch of sky. It's boring - frustrating.
Even if you make an effort to clamber closer to the window to get a better view you're totally thwarted. They've put all sorts of junk between the seat and the window - a table, a ledge, an annoying cubbyhole which holds almost nothing - and finally - a massive inner screen containing the blinds which stops you getting any closer than nine inches to the actual window. It completely sucks !!
I ask you ... what would you rather see from your seat ... this ?
Or this ?
It's horrible, guys. And I hope at least someone in your vast organisation will see this and give it some thought. And if anyone out there agrees please let me (and British Airways) know - OK ?
Who designs this stuff ? Did they lose their mind ?
Well, here's a turn-up for the books. Good old Dave Cameron emerges from the shadows he was consigned to, after his arrogance and vanity resulted in his fall from grace. Guess what ? He's gone all Common Decency ! He's telling the equally humiliated Theresa May that she ought to consult with the Opposition party and hammer out a Brexit policy that might actually be something close to what the people of Britain really want. GOOD IDEA !!! That's how Parliament ought to work - as we've been saying in the Common Decency campaign for a few years now ...
But what a shame Dave never thought of this in the days when HE was forcing his will on Parliament ! How come it comes into his head now ??? Oh ... sadly it's all too obvious that this is a way of trying to recover his dignity and respect. Of course. He was right all along, wasn't he. He should still be up there in the fluffy clouds that surround Number 10 ! At last the British public will acknowledge their error in rejecting him ! How he must relish he spectacle of Theresa May having to go cap in hand to the opposition - something that would have been unthinkable in the heady days when King DAVE was invincible. Shame. No honour among thieves, I guess. Not much decency either. Good try, Mr Cameron!
And by the way, Dave .... did you forget ? All of this - ALL OF THIS SHAMBLES - is YOUR FAULT. "
I love this ! I'm putting it up for partly selfish reasons - because I want to have it with me on my travels. But partly because I want to share it. And pay tribute to it. I must be infringing somebody's copyright - for which I apologise - and will make amends when I can. But I do it in the spirit of acknowledgement and a desire to promote it. Tonight it followed a beautiful TV program on Zen and Japanese culture. Then I was left entranced.
Congratulations Chris [Williamson] ! Welcome home !!
@Ricky Gervais - Phew!
I'm sure you are not the only one to have seen this possibility, Laura. Bizarre times we live in. Bri
@Laura Kuenssberg - Sinn Fein about to hold a press conference, just imagine if they suddenly said they were to take their seats.....
Vile. Traitorous scum. There was never a greater need to clean up the British Press. Enough is enough - right ?! Bri
@MarcusChown - Daily Mail, Sun and Express have turned on May like a pack of hounds ripping apart a fox. Ironic when you think about it.
Congratulations David [Amess] - welcome back !
So happy to see Decency prevail in Kensington. I will forever use this as proof: every vote counts. Borwick - pro blood sports - gone But now it's official ?! Congratulations Emma [Dent Coad]- you have brought Decency to Kensington !!!
Congrats Andrea [Jenkyns]!
Such a just return to the House ! Congratulations David [Drew'!